For Easter, President Michael D. Higgins has recorded a message to Irish people at home and abroad.
In the message, the President expresses the sympathy and solidarity of the Irish people “to our wider global family” and thanks “those who continue to work tirelessly and selflessly to keep communities healthy and safe” and appealed to Irish people to abide by the restrictions that have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
President Higgins said: “Easter, for us Irish, is a time of remembrance, reflection, hope for the future and, for so many, a coming together with those we hold dear.
“This Easter will be unlike any we can remember. This weekend, we must do things differently.
“We must show our love for each other, our solidarity with the most vulnerable among us and our support for the thousands of women and men who have been working so hard to provide us with essential services and to keep us safe by staying at home, keeping our distance and supporting each other in ways that do not put anyone at risk.
“I believe that this is a most fitting tribute to all those who have given so much to Ireland and to the Irish people.
“This weekend we remember, with appreciation, those who laid the foundations of our republic and all those who are giving witness to the generous ideals of a true republic in their words and deeds during these most challenging times.”
On Easter Saturday at 9pm The People of Ireland are invited to Shine a Light to show their support and solidarity with those who are sick and those who have lost loved ones to COVID19, and as a gesture of appreciation to thehealthcare workers and all those who continue to provide essential services through this crisis.
The President and Sabina Higgins will participate in this initiative by lighting lanterns at Áras an Uachtaráin.
On Easter Sunday the men and women of 1916 will be commemorated, not through ceremonies attended by members of the public, but through a televised event, which will air at noon.
President Higgins will then lay a wreath at a group of 16 birch trees that were planted by himself and Sabina in honour of the revolutionaries executed after the 1916 Rising. The laying of the wreath will be followed by a minute’s silence, commemorating those who died in the Easter Rising as well as the victims of the COVID19 pandemic.